Valleywag friend and video star Irina Slutsky cruised the EFF's official SXSW party with videographer Eddie Codel last night for talk-show vlog Geek Entertainment TV. "It's what people think all tech conference parties are like" — full of barely suppressed sexual tension and cheeky robots. Here's her run-down of the nerdiest party at South By.
Robots, girls, theremins and 84-year-old war veterans playing dominoes: this is the kind of Bizarro World party that the EFF and Creative Commons hosted at the Elks Lodge #201 in Austin, TX. Entertaining the party-goers, who stared wide-eyed at the freak show, was the Austin Robot Group — the members built robots who zoomed slowly around the "dancefloor" and pinched the behinds of the ladies who dared to dance. All two of them. Audience participation included fooling with four guitar-shaped theremi [thereminae? — ed.], all playing some sort of cheesy music, reminiscent of a 1950s sci-fi soundtrack.
In attendance and in awe at the general weirdness of the night were geekstars Craig Newmark, Ian Clarke (founder of freenet), Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, the ever-fashionable and emo-haired Peter Rojas (founder of Endgadget) and Doc Searls, the granddaddy of us all.
The members of the Elks lodge weren't scared off by the dorky party and sat around as if there weren't 200 geeks running around changing the world. As a special treat, the Elks' drug prevention literature was laid out. Our personal favorite, "The Elks' Tips for Teens: The Truth About Hallucinogens." Check GETV for GETV's video (to see the bum-pinching, you need to squint).